Former American heavy metal band Twisted Sister have taken issue with Australian millionaire politician Clive Palmer‘s use of their 1984 hit song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in political ad campaigns for the United Australia Party (UAP).
Palmer and UAP re-recorded the chorus of the song “We ain’t gonna take it” with the doctored lyrics “Australia ain’t gonna cop it”.
Twisted Sister does not endorse Australian politician Clive Palmer, never heard of him and was never informed of Clive Palmer’s use of a re -written version of our song Were Not Gonna Take It.— Jay Jay French (@jayjayfrench) January 1, 2019
We receive no money from its use and we are investigating how we can stop it.
Snider alleges that Palmer contacted the band’s publisher Universal Music Group (UMG) enquiring about the licensing fee to use the song but decided to go ahead and re-record it without paying the fee. He also alleges that Palmer has ignored cease and desist letters from the band’s lawyers.
Palmer responded claiming that he wrote the lyrics to the campaign ad himself and would be prepared to counter-sue if the band launched any legal action against him. He also took to Facebook to claim that Twisted Sister’s song was a “rip-off of the centuries-old O Come, All Ye Faithful”.
If, as alleged, Palmer enquired about a licence fee and then did not pay it nor seek permission to use the song, then there may be grounds to sue. It’s also relevant that the band has publicly stated that they do not endorse the UAP.
Here’s the official video of We’re Not Gonna Take It:
Two of UAP’s allegedly offending advertisements:
The circus doesn’t stop there though, Palmer called on Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to refuse Snider’s visa ahead of his upcoming tour.
Palmer then tweeted an offer to join Snider on stage at his upcoming shows for a “sing-off”; an offer that Snider swiftly rejected.
— Dee Snider (@deesnider) January 9, 2019
Dee Snider tours Sydney and Melbourne in solo shows from 31 Jan – 3 Feb 2019 (Info & tickets available here).
Aside from the legal stoush, the disagreement is no doubt generating publicity for both sides ahead of a concert tour and election.
This is far from the first time artists have disputed the use of their work by political parties. For a recent litigated example across the ditch check out my post on Eminem v National Party.